When we found out Monika Lee was guesting during this year's APCC, I just had to request for her to bring Yuna (Final Fantasy X-2) as part of her costume repertoire for that weekend. The idea of reviving the Rikku image was already brewing in my head the moment I found out she was slated to appear in Manila. But first we do a little throwback.
Back in 2009, one of our earliest collaborations in cosplay photography was Rikku, particularly the design from Final Fantasy X-2:
I was still experimenting lighting along with Gelo (our main Art Director) around this time, bouncing ideas left and right. This was the time when we were figuring out the best lighting combination that would yield optimum material for Gelo to use in post production. We were just learning how to make images that had high editing threshold. This was all prior to authoring Geekology. We we all sort of new in shooting cosplay, and haven't really wrapped our heads around creating a system to streamline shooting, doing creativity exercises, etc... we were really just treating this as serious playtime. Heck, we didn't even know the term "cosplay photography" had existed at that time. We were just concerned with shooting superheroes and characters we like.
Hard to imagine this image was already six (6) years old, and quite the interesting revisit when we thought of re-editing this image again after all this time. Monika's Yuna costume triggered all of this to happen. We just had to shoot her as Yuna since she was such a shoe-in for the character.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and looking back at this image brought out the "what-ifs" -- that perpetual discontent over our work in the pursuit of perfection. Despite having learned better post-production processes which we tried implementing on the 2015 version, there were still more things I wished we could've done during the shoot.
Edit: And I just found the original BTS images of our Rikku shoot!
Thanks to Cha Lico (Gelo's sister) for taking all these behind the scenes images.
We'd be coming out with a solo image of Monika as Yuna soon. Here are some behind the scenes from the shoot we did with Monika this year:
- Make-up: Kris Bacani (Rikku, 2009) / Ara Fernando (Yuna, 2015)
- Hair: Toni Santos (Yuna, 2015)
- Styling: Raffy Tesoro (2009)
- CG Imaging: Glenn Tungol (Celsius, 2009)
- Art Direction: Gelo Lico (2009) / Raffy Tesoro (2015)
- Costume Production: Badj Genato (Rikku, 2009) / Monika Lee (Yuna, 2015)
- Digital Imaging: Gelo Lico (2009) / Mooo Digital Productions (2015)
- Models: Alodia Gosiengfiao (Rikku) / Monika Lee (Yuna)